By 90Min
September 16, 2018

Newcastle United fans are furious over Rafa Benitez's decision to start Isaac Hayden against Arsenal, with the wantaway midfielder looking off the pace for much of the game.

Taking to social media, the Toon fans heavily criticised the player - who put in a request to leave over the summer for personal reasons - and believe that Hayden's desire to leave the club may have contributed to his perceived lack of effort.

Stu Forster/GettyImages

The ex-Arsenal man started against his former club in place of Newcastle's creative midfield star Jonjo Shelvey, who is understood to still be returning to fitness after an injury problem.

However, he struggled to have an impact on the game and was not seen to have any influence by Newcastle fans, who watched their side fall to another 2-1 defeat - their fourth of the season against the Premier League's 'Big Six' sides.

Hayden had only returned to being available for the match after suspension, having been given his marching orders against Cardiff earlier in the season during his only other appearance.

In that match, the 23-year-old was sent off shortly after entering the game as a substitute - giving his fellow players in black and white a difficult task that ultimately saw them earn only a 0-0 draw.

While Newcastle fans often shy away from criticising manager Rafa Benitez himself, given how much they know he is an asset to the club and trust his judgement, there were plenty left scratching their heads as to the selection of Hayden.

After looking positive in the first half, Newcastle saw Granit Xhaka and Mesut Ozil give Arsenal a comfortable lead before a late Ciaran Clark consolation proved too little to late to mount any real comeback attempt.

It remains to be seen if Hayden will start in Newcastle's next match, but there are certainly many of the Tyneside club's faithful who clearly hope he does not.

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